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School districts set for graduation ceremonies

Hartville set for Friday; Mountain Grove, Mansfield and Norwood to follow

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Two of the biggest events for the school year are about to finally happen at Wright County’s four large school districts in the month of June after the coronavirus pandemic forced earlier postponements.
Mountain Grove, Mansfield, Hartville and Norwood are each scheduled to hold prom and graduation in the coming weeks.
COVID-19 has led each district into working hard to ensure the safety of graduates and their families.
Hartville is first up as they held their prom last week on Friday, June 5.
This Friday, June 12, they will be holding their commencement at 7 p.m.
Superintendent Mark Piper said each senior will be provided 12 tickets for those they are wishing to attend the event.
Those who are sick will be encouraged to stay home and temperatures will be checked upon arrival.
Hand sanitizer will be readily available to encourage healthy hygiene.
Superintendent Piper said the gym will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected prior to the event.
Seating assignments will also help in encouraging social distancing.
He also said the program will be shorter than normal. A couple of speakers have been removed and music has been slightly limited.
Mountain Grove
First up for Mountain Grove is their prom at Basil Springs, located south of town, on Tuesday, June 16. starting at 7:30 p.m. with the Grand March on the north side of the home bleachers on the football field. Buses will load and return to the school at 11 p.m.
Mountain Grove Superintendent Jim Dickey said students and chaperones will have their temperatures checked as they enter the event. Anyone with a temperature of 100 degrees or more will not be allowed to attend.
Graduation will be on the football field at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 19.
Superintendent Dickey said there are currently no limitations on how many guests graduates may bring.
“We are and will continue to encourage social distancing for the event,” he said. “Graduates will be spaced accordingly as they enter the field and in their seating arrangement on the field.  Guests will be allowed to bring their own chairs so they can sit in alternate locations if they are not comfortable sitting in the stands. In the event of bad weather, graduation will be moved inside the Arena and we will limit the number of guests admitted.”
 
Mansfield
Dr. Richard Wylie, current Mansfield High School Principal who will soon be taking over all superintendent duties, noted that this year’s prom, which is set for 5:30 p.m. on Friday, June 12, will be held at the school. Typically, prom is held off campus.
The Ann Short Turner Community Center will host the meal, but the dance will be in the high school gym.
The protocols in place for the event, according to Dr. Wylie, include:
• Any participant who has tested for, exhibited symptoms of, or been exposed to someone infected with COVID-19 on or before May 30 is not to attend
• Anyone with an underlying health condition, tested positive for, or been exposed to COVID-19 is encouraged not to attend

• While the wearing of masks is encouraged, it will be the responsibility of the attendees to provide those masks
• The facilities will be sanitized prior to the event and hand sanitizing kiosks will be available in the lobby
• At the conclusion of the ceremony, all attendees will be asked to depart
• Before, during, and after the ceremony nobody will be permitted to be in any other part of the district’s facilities.
Dr. Wylie also provided a disclaimer to the information he provided.
“Everything is subject to change based upon whatever the health department and/or State of Missouri mandates between now and when the events are scheduled,” Dr. Wylie said.
At 7 p.m. on Friday, June 19, the district will be hosting graduation in the gym.
As of Friday, June 5, it was announced that graduates will have a limited number of 10 attendees that will be allowed at the event.
In a letter, Dr. Wylie said there will also be a full implementation of social distancing for the attendees in family groups.
Graduates not needing 10 tickets are being asked to provide other graduates with their tickets. Tickets will be made available during graduation practice on Friday, June 19.
This year’s event will be an abbreviated one. It will featured the high school band being recorded and the choir will only include graduates. The high school staff will not be in procession or seated with graduates. Local scholarships will be recognized in the event programs only. Before, during and after the ceremony, nobody will be permitted to be in any other part of the district’s facilities.
The guidelines include:
• Any graduate who has COVID symptoms, has declared themselves to be ill, or been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 on, or before June 5, should not attend the event.
• While limiting the number of guests was considered, it was decided because of social distancing guidelines to limit seating by blocking off sections and spreading out those chairs on the floor.
• Anyone with an underlying health condition, tested positive for, or been exposed to COVID-19 is encouraged not to attend.
• While the wearing of masks is encouraged, it will be the responsibility of the attendees to provide those masks.
• Those attending should attempt to limit their social contacts at least 14 days prior to the event.
• The facility will be sanitized prior to the event and hand sanitizing kiosks will be available in the gym lobby.
Norwood
Norwood’s prom is scheduled for Tuesday, June 16 and will featured a modified grand march to allow parents and the community the usual opportunity to take pictures.
Prom will be off campus and extra buses are being made available to insure students can distance themselves. Sanitization areas will also be at multiple areas at the venue.
Anyone tested or exposed to COVID-19 starting on May 29 and beyond will not be able to attend.
The facilities will be sanitized and wearing masks are encouraged, but ultimately are the responsibility of the attendee to provide the mask. As for graduation, it will be held on Friday, June 26. Anyone tested for or exposed to someone infected with COVID-19 starting on June 12 will not be able to attend.
Sanitization will take place, the masks criteria is the same as prom, and those in attendance will be encouraged to follow social distance guidelines.
“Right now there are still a lot of variables in play and everything is subject to change depending on guidance from the CDC and Wright County Health Department,” said Norwood Superintendent Shannon Crain.

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